Coronavirus: Volunteers ramp up San Francisco Mission District outreach, where highest number of COVID-19 cases reported

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco's Mission District has the zip code with the highest number of novel coronavirus cases in the city.

According to Dr. Colfax, Director of the San Francisco's Department of Public Health, 25% of the COVID-19 cases in the city are among the Latino community.

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"It was upsetting but we are doing all we can to address some of these disparities we are seeing to really expanding testing to these communities that have been underserved and to reach them the best way we can," said Dr. Gabriel Chamie, UCSF infectious disease specialist.

Dr. Chamie is leading one of three test sites where helping those infected and collecting clear data is in the forefront during this pandemic.

"To try to understand the underlying epidemiology or transmission of COVID-19 not just in the hospital, who's coming in sick but out the community," said Dr. Chamie.

The goal is to test over 5,000 people by Tuesday. What's making it easier is technically bringing the hospital test site to the community.

A group of day laborers outside of Garfield Square said, "Yes, we all got tested."

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Francisco Chavez is one of workers who admitted that if it wasn't for the test site, he wouldn't have gone to a hospital.

"I wouldn't have gone. It takes too long to get tested at a hospital and I don't have time to wait," said Chavez.
On Saturday, 950 people got tested, and on Sunday that number declined. According to Jon Jacobo with the Latino Task Force on COVID-19, around 700 people were tested Sunday.

"It's probably a multitude of things. I think a little bit is fear based. I definitely acknowledge that there are people that I've spoken to in our community who are essential workers. They are the bread earner of their household and they are scared to know if they have COVID," explained Jacobo.

Jacobo also believes that the Latino community's fear towards immigration and scams towards this community might have impacted the decline in test numbers.

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"The community is mistrustful of quote and quote 'authority figures' that want to help. We are doing our best by recruiting organizer from the neighborhood," said Jacobo.

Approximately 50 volunteers are going door-to-door to 1,400 homes in the census track of this neighborhood.

Their goal is to surpass their 5,000 tests by Tuesday.

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